April 13, 2004

Keeping an eye on the enemy

As I mentioned earlier, a Holocaust Never Happened group posted the url of this weblog on the web page of their "revisionist" conference in Sacramento at the end of the month. (It all seems to stem from a single reference to a bizarro press release that had been spammed to a radio station guest book, in the comments to this item.)

Ever since I noticed the link turning up in my referral logs, I have to admit I have developed something of a morbid fascination with the "conference updates" posted on the site. (I still can't bring myself actually to link to the page directly, though anyone who's interested can google it if they want. I don't recommend it, honestly. Trust me, though: it's plenty freaky.) It's totally disturbing in one way; yet in another, it's funny in a straight-outta-central-casting way.

"NO MILITARY ATTIRE" is among the official rules, leaving one to imagine what the conference might have looked like without the rule: scores of of home-made SS uniforms, and here and there a Klingon, maybe? That's just a guess. In another update, a subliterate emailer is taken to task by his subliterate email-ee for having failed to understand the finer points of David Duke's Holocaust critique. ("Now that guy is the best example of brain damage," writes the master of ceremonies. "He doesn't get it.")

They also posted their pugnacious response to a cease and desist letter sent by the city attorney's office in Sacramento, warning them to stop using the City Seal in conjunction with the conference. "In closing, dear sir," it runs, "do not ever try this kind of intimidation again. We know who is behind it!" (In case you can't guess who they're talking about there, I'll give you a hint: the introductory paragraph informs the reader that "the Jews are desperate.")

Occasionally, their presumably carefully-worded press-releases have managed to fly beneath the radar and have taken in legitimate people who would certainly not have touched the conference with a barge pole if they had been able to figure out what it was all about. They seem to derive particular satisfaction from this, gleefully pointing out a clueless events listing from the Sacramento Bee. (Like I say, it's disturbing, but kind of funny, too, inasmuch as there's a degree of dramatic irony at work: "Where? Sacramento (with ticket only) When? April 24th, April 25th. Showtimes: all day." But please, boys and girls, no SS uniforms or weapons this time...)

Apparently, they also managed to take in the director of scheduling from the Governor's office, who, sadly, failed to realize what the "European American Culture Council" was really all about. If the letter is genuine, it could well be a form letter sent out to everyone who invites Governor Schwarzenegger to speak at this or that event, but in context it strikes a disturbing chord and is deeply embarrassing. They reproduce it (along with the Governator's photo) with evident delight. Here's the text:

Thank you for inviting Governor Schwarzenegger to attend the European American Culture Council's 2004 International Revisionist Conference on April 24th and 25th, 2004. The Governor values your commitment to working for a better California.
Each and every invitation is important. Unfortunately, due to the many demands on the Governor's schedule, he is unable to accept your invitation at this time. If there is a change in his availability, our office will be in touch with you.
The Governor thanks you for your kind invitation and sends his wishes for a sucessful event.

Gotcha. Yikes! Or, as the "European Americans" put it, and it's hard to argue with this: "Somebody is in trouble!" They promise to read the Governor's wishes at the conference. I bet they will.

Ye gods.

UPDATE: I sent the organizers an email saying that as I was neither a participant nor a supporter, I wanted them to remove the links to the blog from their site. They didn't remove any links, but instead added yet another one underneath the caption: "On the same subject, we received infuriating letters from..."

Posted by Dr. Frank at April 13, 2004 12:35 AM | TrackBack

I feel the need to point out that only a dishonorable Klingon would engage in Holocaust denial.

True Klingons would either be proud of their Holocaust work as part of a proper conquering, or would regard it as dishonorable in that it did not involve warfare, but mere slaughter of non-warriors.

But a Klingon who was a Holocaust-denier would be regarded as acting shamefully and without honor, and would most likely be discommodated (stripped of recognition as a Klingon).

Just so we're clear.

I'm debating whether to blog the Schwarzenegger invite; it's a cheap shot, but, hey, innit that what blogging is about? Partially?

Posted by: Gary Farber at April 13, 2004 12:58 AM

Thanks for clarifying the Klingon angle, Gary. I probably should have said "here and there a Klingon uniform." I was picturing a "Hogan's Heroes, the Next Generation" kind of thing.

As for the Governator, I know what you mean, but in the end I couldn't resist.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at April 13, 2004 01:21 AM

Okay, "European American Cultural Council" could be almost anything, but the "2004 International Revisionist Conference" -- what else does "revisionist" refer to, Arnie? You'd think his mail-reading staff would've been told to be extra sensitive about a handful of issues -- like sexual harrassment, Naziism, steroids, that kind of thing.

Posted by: Nick at April 13, 2004 04:02 PM

Verrrrrrrrrrrry interesting. You never know...... Hitler was a born Austrian who became a German patriot and politician, Arnold was a born Austrian who has become an American patriot and politician. Could it be that Bush=!Hitler (=! not equal) but Schwazennegger=Hitler?????

Disclaimer: The above was tongue-in-cheek and the author hereby disavows anyresponsibility for the creation of any conspiracy theory that may come of the above statement involving the Kennedys, the republicans and the Governator.

Posted by: Zaphod Beeblebrox at April 13, 2004 06:08 PM

Good Lord, Frank. That's creepy and wrong. They listed you as a participant?

Well, everyone who already knows who you are knows it's bullshit.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at April 14, 2004 09:42 AM

Dr. Frank Revisionists? What? Are they now claiming that Hitler *didn't* have a girlfriend?

Posted by: Wes at April 15, 2004 01:01 AM

Wow, I got that link in my daily round of seeing what the neo-nazis on LiveJournal are up to, and then read THEIR links, then read this read this very amusing post and all of a sudden realized -

Holy shit, this is THE Dr. Frank's blog! Rawk! Now I must thank the neo-nazis for leading me to the blog of one of my favorite all time rock'n'roll stars. Dr. Frank, you not only make sweet sweet music, but sweet sweet bloggity goodness as well.

Posted by: Sarah at April 18, 2004 03:10 AM

Nice blog entry which made me chuckle about this depressing situation. I agree it is sick and funny at the same time. I'm here in Sacramento watching the weirdness unfold. I live only a few blocks from where the twisted conference will be. Thanks for brightening up my day with your blog entries about it, though -- even though your blog being linked is really messed up. I liked the comments too. The Klingon one made me laugh. Sometimes one just has to laugh at situations like this, because one just can't think of anything more effective to do.

Posted by: Ariel at April 18, 2004 11:47 PM

I'm surprised Schwarzenegger declined the invitation. Besides his family's Nazi associations, he's the friend of rich white men everywhere.

Posted by: Elizabeth at April 19, 2004 04:56 AM

This is how Holocaust deniers operate: If you say anything against them, they post your personal (or in this case) link information so that their little White Power buddies can harass you. David Irving put my home telephone number in his "action letter" (which goes to, among other people, David Duke's mailing list) because I had the temerity to say he wasn't welcome in my town (Denver). Do a google search on "Nizkor Phone Book" and you'll see quite a long list of the home addresses and phone numbers (and, in some cases, people's employers) so that neo-Nazis know how to harass us. It's a pathetic attempt at intimidation, Dr. Frank. You should be honored to be so "threatening" to them.
The Holocaust History Project

Posted by: Sara at April 19, 2004 06:06 PM

Yesterday I learned that the Turn Verein facility where the deniers' conference was to be held here in Sacramento had cancelled the conference rooms. Turn Verein does not want a hate organization using their premises.

Today I learned that this was posted to the denier's website:


I laughed when I read about the massive pressure the Jewish community was supposedly exerting on Turn Verein. It was one nice guy (whom I know) who made a phone call to Turn Verein, and it was a very amicable conversation. My understanding is that Turn Verein was very unhappy that they were mislead by the deniers.

Harassment indeed, as Sara above says.

Dr. Frank, the deniers have made up their minds based on their own agenda. They will pick on anyone they want to manipulate and harrass if they think it will get them free publicity, IMHO. They don't seem to mind twisting the truth. They will use anyone to promote their hate. I think it is clear from their websites that anyone can be their target or their tool. You were just "standing in their line of sight," so to speak.

Hope this helps to know.

Posted by: Ariel at April 20, 2004 06:50 PM

I also wanted to add, just so there would be no mistunderstanding, that I didn't hear anyone here in Sacramento ask Turn Verein to cancel the conference. It was Turn Verein, the German culture club here in Sacramento, that did not want the event there after they found out what it was.

Posted by: Ariel at April 20, 2004 07:17 PM

There was a similar situation here in St. Louis, when a similar "Euro-American" group organized a "Euro-Fest" at the local Turnverein. Of course, the Turnverein people and many of the folk music and dance groups who performed had no idea that the whole thing was run by a bunch of Nazis. In fact, it didn't even come out until afterward, which was hugely embarrassing for the non-Nazi participants but also seems to indicate that the fash didn't get a lot of proselytizing done.

Posted by: Jason Toon at April 21, 2004 03:00 PM